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Philadelphia Retail Sales Are Growing. Is It Time To Advertise?

Oct 20, 2020 9:07:09 AM / by Larry Julius

Now would be a good time for Delaware Valley small business owners to consider increasing their advertising expenditures.

There are just over 230,000 small businesses in the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD Metro Area, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Based on some promising retail sales data, the Overall  Sentiment Index among local small business owners has improved 32.4% between April 26 and October 12 of this year.

The best news for business owners came from the Commerce Department on Friday when it reported that retail sales rose by a seasonally adjusted 1.9% in September.  This is the fifth straight month of gains.

Local retail gains are being powered by improving consumer confidence and a large pool of cash sitting in people's savings accounts.

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index jumped to 101.8 in September, up 17.9% from August. This means consumers are in the mood to spend. Fortunately, they have money in the bank to do so.

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Topics Delaware Valley Small Business Owner, Philadelphia Small Business Owner, Small Business Advertising, Millennials, roi, return on investment, retail, consumer spending, small business owner, small business, Retail Sales, retailer, retail stores, small business marketing, millennial parents, consumer confidence, purchase intent

Newspaper Advertising In Philadelphia: Advice For Small Business

Oct 14, 2020 4:25:00 PM / by Larry Julius

Delaware Valley business owners are expected to spend $115 million on newspaper advertising in 2020. This will be 31% fewer dollars than were spent in 2019, according to a study by Borrell Associates, a company that analyzes local media expenditures across the country.

Of course, the pandemic is part of the reason advertising revenues have plummeted at Philadelphia area newspapers. But, the more significant factor is the sustained erosion of readership.

For example, between October 2017 and March 2019, the Monday-Saturday circulation of the Philadelphia Inquirer has decreased by 26%. The Sunday edition suffered a 29% decrease.

Among all advertising media available to small business owners, newspaper's ability to reach adult consumers now lags significantly behind Philadelphia radio, cable, broadcast TV, and social media.

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Topics Delaware Valley Small Business Owner, Philadelphia Small Business Owner, Small Business Advertising, Best Way To Advertise, newspaper advertising, philadelphia inquirer, small business owner, small business, small business marketing

Email Marketing In Philadelphia: Tips For Small Business Owners

Oct 5, 2020 6:45:00 AM / by Larry Julius

Delaware Valley business owners are forecast to invest $15.1 million in 2020 on email advertising campaigns to market their goods and services, according to Borrell Associates, a company analyzes ad spending by local companies across the country. 

Borrell predicts overall spending on email marketing by Philadelphia area companies is expected to be down by nearly 2% versus last year, primarily due to the pandemic. Regardless, now might be a good time for small business owners to consider engaging current and prospective customers with emails.

"Email is on-fire right now," says Jay Schwedelson, President of Worldata, a company that builds and measures email marketing success for Fortune 100 companies. "Since the start of the pandemic, consumers are spending 22% in their email inbox than they were in January."

Mr. Schwedelson speculates the increase in inbox time is due, in part, to many consumers working from home and depending more-and-more on written communication from co-workers and customers.

"It could also be that consumers are finding comfort in their email boxes rather than from all the noise on social media."

"Either way, email marketing is performing better than ever," says Mr. Schwedelson. "We've studied more than 200 million emails sent over the past 30 days to both business-to-consumer and business-to-business. We found that B2C open rates are up 16% since January, while B2B open rates are 25% higher."

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Topics Delaware Valley Small Business Owner, Philadelphia Small Business Owner, Small Business Advertising, small business owner, small business, small business marketing, email advertising, click-through rates, Subject Line, inbox, open rates, email marketing, CTR

Advertise In Philadelphia: Shoppers' Needs Are Changing...Again!

Sep 28, 2020 2:39:39 PM / by Larry Julius

There are over 4.2 million adult consumers in the Philadelphia area. Collectively, in a typical year, these shoppers would generate $103.8 billion in retail sales. This money would be spent on cars, shoes, fast-food, entertainment, groceries, mattresses, adult beverages, haircuts, makeup, and an over-abundance of other of goods and services. Their money was being spent on both the essential and the frivolous. 

The way Philadelphia area consumers spend money changed radically in March as COVID-19 began to spread. Six months into the pandemic, shopping strategies are about to change again.

It started with panic buying. Consumers began ignoring prices and were paying what was ever necessary to ensure the safety, health, and comfort of their families.  According to Nielsen, this sudden spike in demand caused widespread price increases. To put it in perspective, retail prices shot-up in 64% of all product categories stocked in grocery stores.

Almost immediately, advertising messages from local retailers shifted from promises of low prices and convenience to product availability and shopper safety.

Based on new research from Nielsen, consumers' shopping strategies are beginning to shift again. This will require Delaware Valley small business owners and retailers to also change their advertising strategies, too.

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Topics Delaware Valley Small Business Owner, Philadelphia Small Business Owner, Small Business Advertising, roi, return on investment, retail, small business owner, small business, Retail Sales, retailer, covid 19, coronavirus, corona, retail stores, recovery, small business marketing, pandemic

How Philadelphia Small Business Owners Can Boost 2020 Holiday Sales

Sep 25, 2020 2:58:55 PM / by Larry Julius

Delaware Valley shoppers are expected to spend over $19.5 billion during this year's November-January holiday season. This estimate is based on a forecast issued last week by Deloitte, the world's largest business accounting firm.  This spending represents a 1-1.5% increase  versus the same period last year.

How can Philadelphia small business owners best compete for a significant share of the 2020 holiday expenditures?

"Retailers who prioritize customers’ desires for a safe, efficient shopping journey will be the big winners this year," writes Sean Gundz on www.ChainstoreAge.com.

"The holiday season is always a stressful time for retailers, especially the ones that make the majority of their revenue in the short window between Thanksgiving and Christmas," says Mr. Gundz. 

"Within this window is Black Friday, which, along with other big holiday sales events, are going to look a lot different this year. Retailers must accommodate COVID-19 mandates that enable social distancing, minimize surface touching, and actually restrict foot traffic in their facilities. All while trying to optimize sales."

Mr. Gundz says there is no single way to deal with the challenges facing retailers this holiday season. He does offer five tips, though, that every Philadelphia retailer can employ.

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Topics Delaware Valley Small Business Owner, Philadelphia Small Business Owner, Small Business Advertising, retail, small business owner, small business, Retail Sales, retailer, retail stores, small business marketing

Philadelphia Retailers Expect Sweet Halloween In 2020

Sep 22, 2020 9:03:46 AM / by Larry Julius

Delaware Valley consumers are expected to spend $141 million on Halloween related activities in 2020, according to information from the National Retail Federation.  This would be a slight 2.3% decrease from 2019. This is proof of the holiday's strong resistance to the pressures of a pandemic economy.

Based on data from the NRF's annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, more than 2.5 million Philadelphia adults plan to participate in Halloween-related activities. Among those celebrants, safe at-home activities ranked highest: 53 percent plan to decorate their homes, 46 percent plan to carve a pumpkin, and 18 percent will dress up their pet.

“Consumers continue to place importance on celebrating our traditional holidays, even if by untraditional standards,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Retailers are prepared to meet the increased demand for seasonal décor, costumes, and other items that allow families the opportunity to observe Halloween safely.”

To earn a large share of Halloween spending in 2020, Philadelphia small business owner will need to advertise to let consumers know their stores are open, stocked, and ready. By any metric, advertising on Philadelphia radio is the best way to reach holiday shoppers.

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Topics Delaware Valley Small Business Owner, Philadelphia Small Business Owner, Small Business Advertising, working mothers, households with children, retail, halloween, small business owner, holiday spending, small business, parents, Retail Sales, retailer, retail stores, small business marketing, millennial parents

Philadelphia Small Business Update: Auto Parts Sales Accelerate

Sep 18, 2020 2:16:44 PM / by Larry Julius

There are more than 3,500,000 vehicles registered in the Delaware Valley. Many need new windshield wipers, shocks, struts, brakes, air filters, ignition coils, and the hundreds of other items that fill the shelves of local auto part dealers.

Despite the pandemic induced slowdown, business at auto parts stores has grown nearly 13% since February, according to the US Census Bureau.

This explosive growth in auto parts sales directly relates to the  average age of cars on Philadelphia area roads.

"Per the latest study from IHS Markit, the current combined average age of vehicles has hit a record of 11.9 years," Rimmi Singhi wrote this week on NASDAQ.com. "The aging vehicles are a boon to auto parts, replacement, and repair companies. In a bid to ensure long-term functioning of the aging vehicle population, customers are making investments to replace faulty vehicle parts and components."

Also contributing to the rapid aging of cars on the road is the current demand for used versus new vehicles. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) for used cars is 25% higher in August than it was during the same month last year.

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Topics Delaware Valley Small Business Owner, Philadelphia Small Business Owner, Small Business Advertising, Best Way To Advertise, advertising on Philadelphia radio, retail, small business owner, radio advertising, small business, automotive, used trucks, used cars, Retail Sales, retailer, retail stores, small business marketing, used vehicles, auto parts

Banks and Credit Unions Reach ReFi Customers On Philadelphia Radio

Sep 11, 2020 2:55:18 PM / by Larry Julius

There are approximately 862,000 households in the Delaware Valley with existing mortgages, according to the US Census Bureau, American Housing Survey. The median amount owed on these homes is $150,000.

Yesterday, there was extraordinary news for many of these borrowers and for Philadelphia area banks, credit unions, and mortgage companies

According to The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), mortgage rates have hit an all-time low of 2.86%.

 
With interest rates at this new level, 20 million American homeowners can now refinance their existing mortgage, according to Black Knight, a data analytics company specializing in homeownership life cycles. 
 
By refinancing an existing mortgage, a Philadelphia area homeowner could considerably reduce the length of their loan or lower the amount 
of their monthly payments.
 
Local banks, credit unions, and mortgage companies create a great deal of revenue from refinancing. 
 
Generally, a lender can expect to earn two to five percent of the loan principal amount in closing costs, according to BankRate.com. For a $200,000 mortgage refinance, for example, closing costs could generate between $4000 and $10,000.
 
For Delaware Valley financial companies to claim a significant share of the expanding refi market requires advertising. By any metric, advertising on Philadelphia radio is the most effective way to reach homeowners.
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Topics Best Way To Advertise, Advertise On Philadelphia Radio Stations, radio advertising, mortgage, mortgage rates, mortgage broker, bank, advertise on radio, credit union, homeowners, refinancing

Now Open: Political Advertising Window on Philadelphia Radio

Sep 8, 2020 12:03:03 PM / by Larry Julius

On September 4, the political advertising window opened on Philadelphia television and radio stations.  This is a 60 day period leading up to a general election when broadcast stations licensed by the Federal Communication Commission are obligated to offer candidates for national office the opportunity to buy commercials at the lowest unit rate (LUR).

For example, if a high-frequency advertiser like McDonald's earns the lowest rates on a particular Philadelphia radio station during morning drive-time, then any candidate for federal office must, during the 60-day political window, be offered the same rate for morning drive time on that station, regardless of frequency.

If, however, the McDonald's rate is contingent on the radio station's ability to pre-empt commercials without notice, then qualified candidates must agree to identical terms to receive the same rate.

To facilitate the purchase of commercials on Philadelphia radio, stations will supply candidates with a political rate-card.  This card will show the LUR by time of day and by preemption parameters.

Here are other important facts about political advertising on Philadelphia radio.

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Topics advertising on Philadelphia radio, political advertising, issue advertising, radio advertising, political rate card, political, lowest unit rate

Advertising In Philadelphia: OTT & CTV Viewing Soars

Sep 4, 2020 3:37:17 PM / by Larry Julius

Advertising on Philadelphia television and cable is becoming less attractive to local business owners as viewers rapidly defect to alternative video entertainment sources including, Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Amazon and Disney+.

Collectively these streaming services are referred to as Over-The-Top Television (OTT) and Connected-TV (CTV). Viewers can only access this OTT and CTV content via smartphone, tablets, computers, smart-TVs, Amazon Fire Sticks, and Roku Sticks, Nielsen reports that 92.1% of Delaware Valley adults own at least one these devices. Furthermore, they are using them.

According to Nielsen, OTT and CTV networks now reach 42.8% of all Philadelphia area consumers every week.

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Topics Delaware Valley Small Business Owner, Philadelphia Small Business Owner, Small Business Advertising, Advertise On Philadelphia Radio Stations, television advertising, best time to advertise, small business owner, radio advertising, small business, philadelphia television, pay-TV, cable television, television, advertise on radio, small business marketing, satellite television, cable tv, ott, ctv, streaming video

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